Review of Riverside RV Model White Water Retro - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-15-2014, 10:04 AM   #1
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Review of Riverside RV Model White Water Retro

I am going to purchase a lite TT for a Hyundai SanteFe. The White River 177 is at ths top of my list. It is available in all aluminum for approx. 40 percent less than Escape/Scamp etc. It Iis also available with fiberglass exterior.
Anyone with experience or knowledge of this trailer, please chim in.
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Old 09-15-2014, 12:43 PM   #2
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That is a good looking unit and I like some features of its' layout but it is not an all molded trailer which is the focus of this forum so I am not sure how much response you will get. Reagarding initial cost, review this forum and others and consider the longevity of the various types of units vs. cost. Cheaper up front cost may be for cheaper construction that will not last or give the kind of service you may want. Do your own research and carefully access your needs and wants and make an informed decision. I know I am much happier I waited and found a Scamp that fits my needs instead of several of the stickies (conventially built trailers) I looked at.
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Old 09-15-2014, 01:50 PM   #3
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Thanks for your reply. I believe that based on my research that the Amish built White River Retro 177 with it's aluminum frame costruction is every bit as good as tbe Escape/Scamp.
And as far as tbe exterior goes tbey offer both fiberglass as well az aluminum and that choice can be based on person preference as well as weight, cost and looks.

So hopefully someone who has camped in one can offer their opinion.
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Old 09-15-2014, 02:31 PM   #4
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Again, as Timber Wolf suggested, as this is a forum for molded fiberglass trailer owners, you might have better luck searching for users on what are called 'stick-built" trailers such as irv2.com.

I looked on the RiversideRV web site and they seemed to have dropped the earlier claims as them being "Amish Built". But, that aside, I would compare the quality of any 10 year old stick built trailer to that of a 10 year old molded fiberglass trailer and can bet which one would still be in better condition and have a higher resale value.
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Old 09-15-2014, 02:53 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by msu1966 View Post
Thanks for your reply. I believe that based on my research that the Amish built White River Retro 177 with it's aluminum frame costruction is every bit as good as tbe Escape/Scamp.
And as far as tbe exterior goes tbey offer both fiberglass as well az aluminum and that choice can be based on person preference as well as weight, cost and looks.

So hopefully someone who has camped in one can offer their opinion.
Hi: msu1966... Probably won't find anyone here that's camped in one. The operative word here is "Molded".
Alf S. North shore of Lake Erie
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Old 09-15-2014, 03:12 PM   #6
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Most of those on this site have moved in the other direction from stick built trailers and are staunch supporters of molded fiberglass trailers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by msu1966 View Post
I am going to purchase a lite TT for a Hyundai SanteFe....
Sounds pretty definitive in that you have already made your decision. Best of luck with your purchase.
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Old 09-15-2014, 03:15 PM   #7
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Yep molded fiberglass RV is what the folks here would have experience with and knowledge of. Might want to check with the manufacturer to see if they have anyone in your area with one of their campers willing to let you take a look.

Or a Google search to see if you can find an owners group or forum online for owners of that companies campers.

As well as check online for that model being sold, you need to get some information on depreciation because that is a big part of cost. Since molded FG campers depreciate less it lowers the cost of owning one despite the higher price new than some other types.
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Old 09-15-2014, 05:22 PM   #8
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Since I am new to the "Fiberglass RV Commu ity" please enlighten me on the "molded" con ept. Does a molded fiberglass rv not have any sructural framing other than the mold itself?
I thought that there is some structural support ie. aluminum between the outside skin and interior walls, correct?
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Old 09-15-2014, 05:36 PM   #9
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Molded construction RV's depend on the structure of the shell for most, if not all, of it's structural integrity. In some constructs the builder might incorporate placement of internal dividers, closets and/or cabinets to contribute to integrity, but there is nothing in the walls except for the molded fiberglass shell and, in most cases, interior molded fiberglass interior components, such as benches, counters, cabinets & closets. In some units there is a molded fiberglass floor incorporated, but in most the floor is usually of a wood product, with the walls bonded to that surface.

Think of a fiberglass boat hull on steroids.
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Old 09-15-2014, 05:44 PM   #10
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Hi Ken, you live near Lansing? or just an MSU alum? I grew up in MI near Standish. Go Spartans!

The all-molded fiberglass bodies used by Scamp, Casita, etc. have no seams between the roof and side walls, or between the side walls themselves. This eliminates a substantial portion of the potential leak points.

Are the molded FG bodies self-supporting? Mostly, no; they utilize the inside cabinetry and stuff as stiffeners. The big exception is Lil Snoozy, which is molded in a process more like boat builders use, it is thicker and is completely self supporting & very rigid; I have an empty Snoozy (called Lil Hauley) and use it as a cargo trailer. Scamp, Casita, and some others have a single hull of molded FG. A few brands (Eggcamper may be one, Burro was another but is long out of business) have a double hull design, but even those do not have any wood, aluminum, or suchlike as interior supports; I believe they have some FG stiffeners built in between the hulls, but not absolutely certain.

I owned a stick built KZ Spree Escape E14RB for a bit over 3 years and sold it. Shortly afterward the roof began to leak... this is on a trailer just 3.5 years old. This is not terribly unusual, unfortunately, on trailers where roof seams are present. The KZ was a fiberglass gelcoat exterior, but here's the thing: that gelcoat was bonded to WOOD. A leak that goes undetected or unchecked can cause that pretty fiberglass to delaminate from its wood, and the repair is not cheap nor pretty.

I don't know beans about the particular brand you are considering, but definitely do your homework on the construction. There is a brand called Livin' Lite Camplite that is aluminum (roof, floor, walls, cabinets!), has no wood whatsoever, and would not suffer much damage from a leak. Have you looked at that one? If so, how does that brand compare to the White River you're looking at?
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Old 09-15-2014, 06:14 PM   #11
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I think Uhaul and maybe EggCamper being double walled could have some wood inside those walls but would not want to bet money on it. Especially the EggCamper. And any wood is probably for attachment of things not structural.

Literally these things are manufactured like FG one piece tub surrounds for your bathroom. On my scamp the closet is three sides of molded fiberglass riveted to the shell, same for the cabinets. The seats and couch are really just a molded one piece front and top attached to the molded walls. Some attachment points are wood fiberglassed to the wall. But if they rot you just cut off the old and replace by fiberglassing a new piece of wood in the same spot.

If the shell is damaged you patch with fiberglass and it's good as new. That is why there are so many that are still around from the 70's and 80's. You can pretty much repair them indefinitely. Heck one guy had a post showing his repair of a camper that had a tree crush the roof, bunch of FG work, paint job and it's as good as new. If the frame is shot, you can remove the shell put a new or rebuilt frame under it and back on the road you go.

I'm not anti-sticky built, I'm just not into "disposable" campers
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Old 09-15-2014, 06:22 PM   #12
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Molded fiberglass trailers are built like a boat hull, usually a top and a bottom, joined with an overlapping horizontal joint in the middle. The trailer you are looking at has aluminum or fiberglass exterior wall options but the fiberglass is slab sheathing over a frame with seams on all joints. This is the reason why molded travel trailers (and bed-mounted campers) last so long and retain their value so well compared to "stick-built" trailers, regardless of the sheathing material.

If a low entry cost is your priority, stick-built is the way to go. The compromise is maintenance issues, fast depreciation, and it's likely to develop leaks sooner than later. They are difficult to sell used and you won't get much for them unless they are near new.

Molded fiberglass trailers require a higher initial investment but have fewer maintenance issues, rarely leak, and hold their value better. You can usually sell a pretty old molded towable many years down the road, long after a same-year stick-built trailer has become a pile in a scrap yard.

Different strokes for different folks. It all depends on your priorities. But you won't find much advice here on stick-built models, whether they are wrapped in fiberglass or something else.
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Old 09-15-2014, 06:31 PM   #13
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This list of model "dry" weights which typically don't include any appliances, battery, or propane tank RIVERSIDE RV manufacturer of RETRO TRAVEL TRAILERS - Specs Not like the stove or fridge weigh anything right?

Compare that to the FGRV weights in the "Real World" fully loaded and weighed at FGRV rallies. (probably on the heavy side since we bring all sorts of cool stuff to rallies to show off, oh you know you do)

Trailer Weights in the Real World

Most of those Riverside RV dry weights are a little high compared to FGRV. They do tend to have a bigger foot print (wider/longer) than many FGRV's. The cargo weights are low in the larger units until you get to the dual axle. Not that I'm going to throw 900# of junk in my camper but if you collect souvenir rocks.... or pack like my sister ;-)
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Old 09-15-2014, 06:40 PM   #14
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Hmmmm...... Sticky = Disposable
I like that..... LOL
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